Friday's Feature

News, Announcements, Celebrations


Community Prevention

  • The Trash Can Unit is a lengthy story by Rosalind Adams on Buzz Feed News about an investigation into the outrageous management/operations of an adolescent unit at a psychiatric hospital (Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health in Tulsa, owned by America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services).
    • Innovator finds value in relationship-based primary care model is a posting by Robert Nagler Miller on AMA Wire about Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle’s story, CEO of Iora Health. After years of practicing and frustrated by the volume of bureaucracy imposed on physicians, a fee-for-service model that encouraged superfluous tests and procedures, and a lack of patient care time…he co-founded Iora Health, a model that dispensed with the fee-for-service structure and the seven-minute patient visit. Not all experiments have succeeded, but Dr. Fernandopulle and his colleagues are continuing to work toward “restoring humanity to health care.”
    • Denver 7’s investigation of e-cigarette explosions has DeGette calling for congressional hearings is a story by Tony Koveleski, Alan Gathright, and Andy Miller about how Denver 7 has amassed data on more than 300 e-cig explosions and fires, which has caught the attention of Rep. Diana DeGette, D-CO prompting her to push for congressional hearings.

Policy Efforts

  • Fear of losing Medicaid mental health services hasn’t gone away is a story in The Columbus Dispatch by Alan Johnson about conversations held recently at a National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio advocacy meeting that reflect just how much this fear hasn’t gone away, though stalled out in Washington currently.
    • Medicaid expansion: what the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment reveals is a video posting on Healthcare Finance by Eric Bailey that features Katherine Baicker, C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics at Harvard, who addresses the complex issue of Medicaid expansion and elaborates on the Oregon experiment, touted by both supporters and opponents of the ACA.
    • Boulder fraternity reaches out for mental health services, feels snubbed by CU is a story in the Daily Camera by John Bear about how policies are getting in the way of fraternities and other unaffiliated university groups (one fraternity chapter in particular) being able to access cost-free educational and mental health services.
    • How Alaska fixed Obamacare is a story on Vox by Sarah Kliff about the changes Alaska made to the ACA. Lori Wing-Heier, Alaska’s insurance commissioner, developed a plan where the state paid back insurers for especially high medical claims submitted to Obamacare plans, which lowered premiums for everyone. In the end the increase was a mere 7%. Minnesota and New York have showed interest in this model.
    • Medicaid Work Requirements: Who’s At Risk? Is a posting to the Health Affairs Blog by Leighton Ku and Erin Brantley about the waivers Tom Price and CMS
    • Medicaid Responds To the Opioid Epidemic: Regulating Prescribing and Finding Ways To Expand Treatment Access is a posting on the Health Affairs Blog by Amy Bernstein and Nevena Minor about how Medicaid programs are at the center of the opioid epidemic. Data suggest that Medicaid beneficiaries are prescribed painkillers at higher rates than non-Medicaid patients and have a higher risk of overdose.


Research, Data, Evaluation


SIM Update

  • Colorado State Innovation Model Evaluation is a quarterly report (October-December 2016) produced by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Purchasing and Contracting Services Section that provides insight into SIM progress to date.
  • For podcasts about the SIM data, and the stories behind the numbers, click here.
  • Depression Predictive Modeling Report, January 2017 is a report by Milliman that describes how practices can identify patients with a high likelihood of depression using the All Payer Claims Database.

“It is spring again.

The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

Rainer Maria Rilke